François Kevorkian, alias François K, (born 10 January 1954) is a French-Armenian DJ, remixer, producer and record label owner. Having started his career in renowned clubs such as the Paradise Garage and Studio 54, the New York City resident is widely considered as one of the forefathers of house music.
Born and raised in France, Kevorkian's passion for music led to playing the drums during his teen years. He moved to the United States in 1975, where he hoped to find more challenging situations than those back home. Due to the heavy competition for any gig as a drummer in those days, he instead tried his hand at becoming a DJ in underground New York City clubs, around 1976. His career then skyrocketed, and he quickly made this his full-time occupation, although some work was at more commercial venues such as the club New York, New York in 1977. He taught himself tape editing and started making disco medleys, some of which are still popular to this day, such as Rare Earth's "Happy Song". He was offered a position doing A&R for a nascent dance indie record label, Prelude Records, which allowed him to go into the studio and do remixes. His first remix, of a Patrick Adams production, "In The Bush" by Musique became a wild success both in clubs and on the radio. It was the first of many remixes that helped Prelude define the sound of New York's dance music, including many memorable songs, including "You're The One For Me' and "Keep On" by D-Train, and "Beat The Street" by Sharon Redd. His stint at Prelude ended in 1982, the same year where he had the most number one singles in Billboard's Dance Music Chart, which included his remixes of now-classic songs such as "Situation" by Yazoo, and "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L.
During that time, he was privileged enough to play as a guest DJ at such legendary venues as the Paradise Garage, The Loft, Better Days, Studio 54, Les Mouches, Buttermilk Bottom, and AM-PM, as well as a residency at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar on Fridays for over a year. The great success of his remixes led him to record producing, and his first work was the Snake Charmer EP for Island Records, utilizing an all-star cast of Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay, and Jaki Liebezeit. His career as a remixer and producer led him to work or collaborate with many more mainstream artists, such as Eurythmics, Diana Ross, U2, Kraftwerk, Mick Jagger, Ashford & Simpson, The Cure, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Cliff, Foreigner, Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, The Fatback Band, Bunny Wailer, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, Cabaret Voltaire, and culminated in his involvement in mixing all of Kraftwerk's 1986 studio album, Electric Café. He mixed Depeche Mode's biggest-selling album, Violator as well as many of their 12" club remixes.
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